The common battle cry of many a language learner is that of..."One language is never enough!"
And fairly so - once you see the many doors that learning a foreign language opens for you, you'll get mad for it and learn as much languages as you can....except for one.
And that is Russian.
Fair enough - one look at the Cyrillic alphabet is enough to drive even the most studied polyglot away from it, if not the stereotypical way we portray Russian to sound like on our media.
However, it's your loss, because Russian is just as beautiful to the ears as the Bolognese dialect of Italian does (at least to this pair of ears) - and Russian is poised to become a very important language for business, culture, and politics in the near future, if it isn't already.
Furthermore, there's literally no excuse as to why you shouldn't, because there IS a program out there that makes learning what seems to be such a difficult language to learn easy....and that's the Rocket Russian Language Learning Program.
Let's just find out how this program is blowing established programs like Pimsleur and Michel Thomas out of the water.
How it Works
For those of you who haven't done a Rocket Languages course, the coursework is usually structured into two parts: first is the audio course, which you may already be familiar with if you've done the Michel Thomas or Pimsleur courses, and the second is the language and culture course, which offers a deeper insight into how contemporary Russian culture and customs work. The goal is to create an environment that is perfect for prospective learners to understand how the language works through the lens of modern Russian culture, which theoretically speeds up the process, if you prefer to take such a course in your language learning journey. That being said, let's get down to the nitty-gritty of how I found the course myself.
The way the coursework is structured makes it very clear for students to follow a linear progression in their learning. Furthermore, the interactive audio course offers relevant, current, and true-to-form spoken Russian that is spoken today (as opposed to programs such as the DLI Language Courses, which is understandably dated in terms of language use). Not just that - the audio course also doesn't really delve too much into grammar at first, because let's face it - grammar can be rote to learn, and is the bane of many a budding polyglot. The Rocket Russian Language Program offers a bevy of conversational situations that are useful in real life, not just in conversations that will never happen, which will be of great interest for students who have grown tired of the same tired schtick many audio courses rehash (booking hotel rooms, buying airplane tickets, etc). The course also touches on listening and reading comprehension, which is a step up from older courses like Pimsleur (which have their weaknesses in teaching reading comprehension). Lastly, the audio course features real native speakers, with a neutral Russian accent that can be understood all over Russia. The culture course on the other hand is very useful in terms of Russian cultural topics, and is extremely useful for those of you who actually plan to live in Russia or stay for a certain amount of time; that way you get a primer on how things are done in Russia before you even land.
We talked about how interactive audio courses can become rote after a while, and I've had my share. While Rocket Languages does its best to keep itself updated through the years, the old, boring topics we all have come to loathe as part of audio courses still exist - because they're that important. Furthermore, they are only available for download on the Rocket Languages website, which can pose a problem for language learners who live in areas that have poor connectivity, while physical copies can cost quite a lot of money.
The Final Verdict
The Rocket Russian Language Learning Program is an excellent introductory course for dynamic learners who prefer their coursework to be a healthy mix of visual, aural, and immersive learning, and especially so for beginners (it isn't a popular fixture in language learning laboratories in schools all over the world for no reason) - so if you have a trial license, or if you were gifted one, give it a shot; it's definitely worth your while as the perfect springboard towards more in-depth language courses like Michel Thomas, DLI, or Pimsleur. Good luck on your Russian language learning journey!